By Edwin Velez
Reviewed on Xbox One
Released on October 25th, 2016 for Xbox One, PS4, and PC
Developer: Dimps Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
From the very beginning, the first change you will notice is the town. Previously known as Toki Toki City, the new and improved hub is 7x the size of the first, and is now named Conton City. As opposed to being sectioned off like in the first, the new city is one huge open map. It features different districts like business, shopping, and of course others that resemble recognizable places from the series like planet Namek. This city is easy to navigate with a pop up map that comes on screen during movement, as opposed to a solitary screen. In addition to flying, which is not available right away, you can now use a vehicle of sorts to move and zip through the map quicker. The city is much livelier than the predecessor, supporting up to 300 online players to potentially match up with for multiplayer modes. The NPCs are also much more engaging, with fetch quests and random objectives being available often through them. One of the main map portions is of course, the Time Nest, where you will be often if you have an interest in continuing Xenoverse’s story.
The original game introduced players to Parallel Quests, which took classic Dragon Ball events and made them side quests, each fit with different histories, multiple areas to explore, and collectible items. These quests are back by the boatload, and can all be done cooperatively online with up to three players fighting side by side. They are an absolute blast to play, and with multiple objectives, they really add to the replayability. A new way to earn experience is the addition of these hubs of time distortions. There are five smaller hubs within the city, each featuring a different but easily recognizable setting. The hubs are Friezas Spaceship, Namekian Village, Hercules Home, Capsule Corp, and Majin Buu’s Home. Each are home to some important characters that are fitting, like Majin Buu in his home and Vegeta at Capsule Corp. They all have different quests to give you that mix things up and offer more diversity than just doing Parallel Quests and Story Missions. While Frieza and Vegeta’s quests are usually just fighting based, Majin Buu’s is a bit different. He wants a family, and to create one you will have to feed him. You can find food in the shops available for purchase, but if you would rather search for it you can find some in various spots around the map as well as from some generous NPCs. Another new feature is the Expert Missions. These are six player quests that have high difficulty but high rewards, working like a pseudo raid mode. They are tough and intense, fit for dedicated fighters.
The audio and visuals are as authentic as ever. Dropping last generation consoles gave Bandai Namco the breathing room to really get the aesthetic across. It feels like you are watching a true anime in certain scenes, and the vibrant colors shine big time. The voice over work is the standard affair you will have heard before, while the music is a bit more varied. Some songs are awfully annoying, while others are genuinely catchy. There is a mix of elevator music, pop tunes, and rock. The rock songs really play to the action well, especially during intense fights. My one gripe in this general department are the cut scenes. Most are played out with in game graphics, while some are done like the anime. Two are done in a high quality CGI, which begs the question: Why the inconsistency? The CGI showings most likely take a lot more effort, but look damn fantastic. The anime scenes look pretty good too, but I wish they did not switch it up so much through the story as it really affects the dynamic of the narrative in my opinion.
Final Score: 8/10
-Does not innovate enough on the first